Thai police raid unearths dismembered body in freezer

Fake passports displayed at immigration bureau in Bangkok on February 10, 2016 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Passport forgery is a big business in Thailand

Thai police who raided a suspected passport-forging operation in Bangkok say they found guns, drugs and the dismembered body of a man in a freezer.

Officers say they have no idea who the man was and what his links to the forgery operation might be.

Five foreigners were arrested and one police officer was shot and wounded during the operation.

Quantities of fake passports were also found at the flat in the Phra Kanong district of the city.

Bangkok police chief Sanit Mahathavorn said those arrested were three English-speaking men and a Burmese maid and her husband.

Thai media said the three English speakers were two Americans and one Briton but this was not confirmed.

Police said that during the raid one of the suspects turned from a safe he was opening and opened fired, injuring one officer.

A body of a "foreign man with blond hair" was then found inside a large freezer on the ground floor.

"His body was cut with a sharp object into six pieces, put in a black bag and brought into the freezer," the police chief told reporters.

He said the suspects were being questioned at a police station in south-west Bangkok.

BBC South-East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head says the trade in forged and stolen passports is a big business in Thailand.

The trade was highlighted after the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 two years ago, he adds, when two Iranian men on board were found to have been travelling on stolen passports bought in Thailand.

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